To speak a true word is to transform the world (Freire)
Table of Contents Critical Pedagogy: Conceptual Map Key Concepts of Critical Pedagogy Articles: Why Doesn’t This Feel Empowering? (Ellsworth, 1989) The Souls of White Folk: Critical Pedagogy, whiteness studies, and globalization discourse. (Leonardo, 2002) Revolutionary Pedagogy in Post-Revolutionary Times: Rethinking the Political Economy of Critical Education (McLaren, 1998) Rereading Paulo Freire (Weiler, 2001) Theme Issue: Olson, P. – Rethinking Social Reproduction (1981) Henry Giroux- Hegemony, Resistance, and the Paradox of Educational Reform (1981) Michael Apple- Reproduction, Contestation, and Curriculum (1981) Paul Willis- Cultural Production is Different from Cultural Reproduction is Different from Social Reproduction is Different From Reproduction (1981) References
Key concepts of Critical Pedagogy Learning through discourse Critical Consciousness Reconceptualizing Literacy Honouring lived experience Historical context Praxis- both dialogue and action Reflection Direct honesty Identifying and actively countering hidden oppression Student Voice/ Empowerment A constructive rather than banking pedagogy of teaching Breaking down Eurocentric thought/ thinking Acknowledgement of the emotional nature Socialist vision / revolutionary agenda Hegemony
Why Doesn’t This Feel Empowering? (Ellsworth, 1989) Concepts Discussoed Key Terms: Historical Context critical pedagogy Key Assumptions critical reflection Curriculum and dialogue Instruction 607 empowerment Strategies for Educators knowledge Ellsworth Concludes other Thoughts rational vs. irrational repressive myths sameness social change student voice suffering teaching for liberation
Why Doesn’t This Feel Empowering? (Ellsworth, 1989)Historical Context 1988, University of Wisconsin-Madison Racist acts and structures evident on campus and within community University fails to respond to racism and marginalization of students Ellsworth creates special topics course (Curriculum and Instruction 607) Course intended to understand institutional racism, as well as carry out political intervention This relates, to an extent, to Leonardo’s (2002) discussion of praxis, which is a call to work that aims at transforming the world with dialogue and action, as defined by Freire Intertwine classroom practices with historical and political contexts This becomes a journey in which individuals can “expand the horizons of human possibility” (Kincheloe, 2004, p. 45) through action Ellsworth also seems to take on Freire’s (1970) view of authentic education, in which “A” works together with “B”, while being mediated by the world Expose agenda of the course rather than hide it Kincheloe (2004) explains that education is political in nature, catering to the needs and agendas of groups within a society. This means that teaching is political, as well (Freire, 1970) Use of media to construct anti-racist pedagogies Anti-racist pedagogy rooted in actual experiences Defined through its intersections with oppressive dynamics such as, racism, classism, sexism, ableism, etc.
Why Doesn’t This Feel Empowering? (Ellsworth, 1989) Key Assumptions Ellsworth argues “key assumptions, goals and pedagogical practices fundamental to the literature on critical pedagogy – namely, ‘empowerment,’ ‘student voice’, ‘dialogue’, and even the term ‘critical’ – are repressive myths that perpetuate relations of domination” Kincheloe (2004) suggests that there is “room for disagreement” (p. 48). Dialogues of critical pedagogy can lead to repression Putting dialogues of critical pedagogy into practice can reproduce domination That said, Kincheloe (2004) posits that critical pedagogy is evolving. Perhaps in its evolution, as it “devises new social arrangements, new institutions, and new forms of selfhood” (p. 46), educators can look toward ways in which repression and elements of domination can be reduced. Discourse of critical pedagogy based on rationalist assumptions Essential to theorize and critically examine who produces valid knowledge If not, critical pedagogues have potential to extend domination in classrooms
Why Doesn’t This Feel Empowering? (Ellsworth, 1989) Context specific in order to understand social identities and situations Informed by postdiscourse perspectives, individuals’ view of self and world developed through social and historical contexts (Kincheloe, 2004); however, “given the changing social and informational conditions […] and media-saturated Western culture, critical theorists have needed new ways of researching and analyzing the construction of individuals” (p. 49). Questions what diversity do we silence in the name of ‘liberatory’ pedagogy?
Why Doesn’t This Feel Empowering? (Ellsworth, 1989) Curriculum and Instruction 607 In Curriculum and Instruction 607: Racism requires political action This can be related to critical social theory (Kincheloe, 2004) Political action may be required; however, hope, as described by Freire (1970), may also be required in order to sustain action and commitment Differing social positions and political ideologies of those enrolled in course brought assumptions about critical pedagogy, that were rational in nature, into question Literature and studies provide evidence that myths about who the ideal rational person is/should be has been oppressive to those who do not fit the pre-set, constructed ideal Lack of literature on sustained attempt for educators to work toward ending student oppression Ellsworth took voice of students of difference; their word was valid Needs to be critiqued as implications for social movements and struggles exist Affinity groups within the course developed Contributed to communication in which exchange was cross-cultural/subcultural rather than individual Each group had partial knowledge of oppression This relates to Kincheloe’s (2004) discussion of hegemony: “all of us are hegemonized as our field of knowledge and understanding is structured by a limited exposure to competing definitions of the sociopolitical world” (p. 54). Thus, each of us brings our own, varying experiences and views of oppression that cannot be generalized for members of groups we are part of, as well. For example, my experience of privilege is not the same as another white female. Students engaged in political work
Why Doesn’t This Feel Empowering? (Ellsworth, 1989) Critical Issues Critical pedagogy acknowledges power one group of individuals has over another (i.e. teachers over students) Power imbalance exists Lack of meaningful analysis Illusions of equality created through strategies such as student empowerment and dialogue Ellsworth describes empowerment as “treat[ing] the symptoms but leav[ing] the disease unnamed and untouched”. Relates to Bobbitt’s scientific method in terms of diagnosing situations and prescribing remedies
Why Doesn’t This Feel Empowering? (Ellsworth, 1989) Strategies for Educators Strategies for educators: Provide students with opportunities to expand analytical skills Teacher as learner of student’s reality and knowledge Authority is inevitable; create acceptable imbalances (acceptable imbalance: “authority serves ‘common human interests by sharing information, promoting open and informed discussion, and maintaining itself only through the respect and trust of those who grant the authority’”) Question “empowerment for what?” Individuals “cannot unproblematically bring subjugated knowledges to light when” they are not free of their own learned, internalized oppressions Emancipation “No one is ever completely emancipated from sociopolitical context that has produced him or her” (Kincheloe, 2004, p. 51).
Why Doesn’t This Feel Empowering? (Ellsworth, 1989) Talk back, defiant speech rather than sharing Voices partial, multiple, contradictory Issues of trust, risk, fear, desire surrounding identity and politics of classroom In our own experiences, how can we set up an environment that allows both students and us to open up and “talk back” without fear? Is this possible? What limitations might exist, if any? Dialogue in classroom Need to feel safe to speak Not necessarily the case Requires trust and commitment Social interactions; building a sense of community Subordination present “Dialogue in its conventional sense is impossible in the culture at large because at this historical moment, power relations between raced, classed, and gendered students and teachers are unjust. The injustice of these relations and the way in which those injustices distort communication cannot be overcome in a classroom, no matter how committed the teacher and students are to ‘overcoming conditions that perpetuate suffering’”.
Why Doesn’t This Feel Empowering? (Ellsworth, 1989) Ellsworth concludes: “Current understandings and uses of ‘critical,’ ‘empowerment,’ ‘student voice,’ and ‘dialogue’ are only surface manifestations of deeper contradictions involving pedagogies, both traditional and critical”. Multiple knowledges exist in classroom, which are a result of the way difference structures social relations Knowledges are contradictory, partial, and irreducible Support students in moving about Affirm “you know me/I know you”, reminding “you can’t know me/I can’t know you” Identity starting point for positions at any period in history Contextuality of meanings Classroom has dispersed, shifting, and contradictory contexts of knowing
Why Doesn’t This Feel Empowering? (Ellsworth, 1989) “We cannot act as if our membership in or alliance with an oppressed group exempts us from the need to confront the ‘grey areas which we all have in us’”. Anyone can move to the position of oppressor Prevent “oppressive simplification” and put it into context Movement between positions of privilege and the other “If you talk to me in ways that show you understand that your knowledge of me, the world, and ‘the Right thing to do’ will always be partial, interested, and potentially oppressive to others, and if I can do the same; then we can work together on shaping and reshaping alliances for constructing circumstances in which students of difference can thrive”.
Why Doesn’t This Feel Empowering? (Ellsworth, 1989) Thoughts Kincheloe (2004) posits that “critical theorists become detectives of new theoretical insights, perpetually searching for new and interconnected ways of understanding power and oppression and the ways they shape everyday life and human experience” (p. 49). Might Ellsworth’s course be a manifestation of this search, as both Ellsworth and the students are seeking to understand institutional racism and intertwining their experiences of privilege and/or oppression to understand power and oppression?
Why Doesn’t This Feel Empowering? (Ellsworth, 1989) Kincheloe (2004) also explains that “discursive practices are defined as a set of tacit rules that regulate what can and cannot be said, who can speak with the blessings of authority and who must listen, whose social constructions are valid and whose are erroneous and unimportant” (p. 55). This brings into question whose knowledge counts, who has authority, and who has the power to grant authority (or lack of power and forced to relinquish potential power)? Perhaps Du Bois’ (in Kincheloe, 2004) concept of double consciousness should be at the forefront “if subjugated peoples are to survive[.] [T]hey must develop an understanding of those who attempt to dominate them” (p. 61), while seeing themselves through the views of others. That said, it is important to note that individuals and culture are not always controlled through coercive force, but by consent (Kincheloe, 2004). Although Ellsworth (1989) attempts to set up an environment in which students are called to discuss and act against instances of oppression, do schools today function with hidden agendas, while taking advantage of power imbalance and hiding behind illusions of equality? What actions might individuals take in order to oppose consent that may be uninformed/misinformed and/or blind?
Why Doesn’t This Feel Empowering? (Ellsworth, 1989) Is Ellsworth (1989) fixated on the authority she may be perceived to hold as a professor and/or fixated on her privileges? How might individuals go beyond seeing themselves as “I am just a…”? What is the relevance of moving past “I am just a…”, if at all important? “I’m just a peasant, or a hillbilly, or a black kid from the ghetto, or a woman, [etc.]” (Freire in Kincheloe, 2004, p. 73)
The Souls of White Folk: CriticalPedagogy, whiteness studies, andglobalization discourse. (Leonardo, 2002)Critical Pedagogy requires both “reflection and action” (Freire, 1970) and it is “in speaking their word that men, by naming the world, transform it, dialogue imposes itself as the way by which men achieve significance as men” (Freire, 1970) . However, as Leonardo (2002) points out “Whiteness as a privileged signifier has become global” and therefore whites have “created a global condition after its own image” (Leonardo, 2002) in order to move dialogue, and thus critical pedagogy forward we must identify the elements of oppression that have become “Transformed into the common sense that becomes law. “ Critical Theory questions the assumption that (Leonardo, 2002) societies such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other nations in the European Union are unproblematically democratic and free. (Kincheloe, 2004)
The Souls of White Folk: Critical Pedagogy, whiteness studies, and globalization discourse. (Leonardo, 2002) Critical points. 1. “Whiteness as a privileged signifier has become global” (Leonardo, 2002) 2. There is a distinction between having white skin and ‘being white’ “Many white subjects have fought on the side of racial justice” (Leonardo, 2002)” 3. White arguments to suggest racial equality demonstrate that they “completely misunderstand the world that they have created” (Allen, 2000 cited in Leonardo, 2002) 4. Admitting the reality of white racism would force a river of centuries of pain, denial, and guilt that many people cannot assuage” (Leonardo, 2002) 5. Whiteness has appropriated non-whites as necessary.
The Souls of White Folk: Critical Pedagogy, whiteness studies, and globalization discourse. (Leonardo, 2002) 1. “Whiteness as a privileged signifier has become global” (Leonardo, 2002) Little in the world and certainly little in the world of education is neutral (Kincheloe, 2004) Thus, in order to engage in critical pedagogy, we need to identify the elements of oppression and hegemony that have become commonplace within white culture. In particular, “the white diaspora has, to a large extent, created a global condition after its own image, a condition that whites are generally ill equipped to understand.” (Leonardo, 2002) For example, “flexible communication, contract and part-time work, smaller batches of production, and exportation of labor to Third World nations represent some of capitals late Modus operandi[....]This condition leads to the false impression that the ‘class situation’ is improving because much of the “manufacturing and hard labor remains out of sight and out of mind” (Leonardo, 2002) as critical pedagogues we must identify these (MO) and work to counter them (Kincheloe, 2004) “Because we know that capital is intimate with race, a close relationship exists between economic exploitation and racial oppression” (Leonardo, 2002) “White, male, class elitist, heterosexist, imperial and colonial privilege often operates by asserting the power to claim objectivity and neutrality” (Kincheloe, 2004) Given this global and insidious, commonplace nature of white hegemony the “The point [is] not to flee the American social landscape but to change it” (Leonardo, 2002)
The Souls of White Folk: Critical Pedagogy, whiteness studies, and globalization discourse. (Leonardo, 2002) Educators need to have a “larger awareness- so important in light of U.S. Efforts at empire building in the 21st Century- of the sense of Western superiority embedded in the knowledge production and curriculum development. (Kincheloe, 2004) “Despite the racial progress that we have experienced through the Civil Rights Movement in the USA and the fight against apartheid in South Africa, White normatively remains central to the development of both Western and non-Western nations. (Leonardo, 2002) As educators we need to seek out the normativity, we need to ask “do ‘best practices’, [...] help create democratic consciousness and modes of making meaning that detect indoctrination and social regulation”? (Kincheloe, 2004) The electronic world of the twenty-first century is vulnerable to power in ways never before imagined not only through schooling, but also by way of television and other modes of communication; dominant power attempts to produce more compliant forms of consciousness and identity (Kincheloe, 2004) “Critical pedagogues [look] to examine the ways American power operates under the cover of establishing democracies all over the world […] Such neo-colonial power must be exposed so that it can be opposed in the United States and around the world”. (Kincheloe, 2004)
The Souls of White Folk: Critical Pedagogy, whiteness studies, and globalization discourse. (Leonardo, 2002) 2. “There is a difference between white people, white culture, and whiteness” (Leonardo, 2002) “Schooling can be hurtful”; however, “teachers involved in the harmful process most often do not intentionally hurt students. Critical pedagogy works to provide such assistance to teachers who want to mitigate the effects of power on their students” (Kincheloe, 2004) Some of those students are white and, therefore, it is important that we remember that: Whiteness’ is a racial discourse, whereas the category ‘white people’ represents a socially constructed identity usually based on skin color.” (Leonardo, 2002) “Some facets of white culture are benign or even liberatory, such as critical traditions of the Enlightenment, whiteness is nothing but false and oppressive”. (Leonardo, 2002) Therefore, “this does not mean dismantling white people, as McLaren (1995) has pointed out” (Leonardo, 2002) Critical pedagogy mandates that schools do not hurt students- good schools don’t blame students for the failures or strip students of the knowledge they bring to the classroom (Kincheloe, 2004). This applies also to white students. “The complementary goal is to dismantle race without suggesting to students of color that their racial experiences are not valid or real” (Leonardo, 2002) “There is a difference between suggesting that race , as a concept, is not real and affirming student’s racialized and lived experiences as ‘real’ (Leonardo, 2002)
The Souls of White Folk: Critical Pedagogy, whiteness studies, and globalization discourse. (Leonardo, 2002)•Whites, however, are NOT victims. •“In the USA, whites feel minimized under the sign of multiculturalism, victimised by affirmative action, and perceive that they suffer from group discrimination despite the fact that white women are the largest beneficiaries of such policies. •Ludic multiculturalism – which should not be confused with Critical forms of multiculturalism- refers to the flattening out of difference, as if they were equal and transitive. This reasoning allows for the mistaken claim that whites suffer from discrimination (e.g. reverse affirmative action) just as blacks have suffered from it in the past” (McLaren et al , 2001 as cited in Leonardo, 2002)•Whites need to “acknowledge their unearned privileges and disinvest in them […] Arealistic appraisal is that whites do have a lot to lose by committing race treason, notjust something to gain by forsaking whiteness” (Leonardo, 2002). That said they havehumanity to gain!•“Critical forms of multiculturalism have made significant progress in globalizingeducation (i.e. Representing non-white cultures) but whiteness still remains at thecentre of many national curricula or culture” (Leonardo, 2002)•Critical pedagogy must forge a third space for neo-abolitionist whites as neitherenemy nor ally but a concrete subject of struggle, an identity which is ‘always morethan one thing, and never the same thing twice’ (Ellsworth, 1997 as cited inLeonardo, 2002)
The Souls of White Folk: Critical Pedagogy, whiteness studies, and globalization discourse. (Leonardo, 2002) 3. White arguments to suggest racial equality demonstrate that they “completely misunderstand the world that they have created” (Allen, 2000 cited in Leonardo, 2002) They have a “Racial Contract” The Racial Contract is “the implicit consensus that white frequently enter into”( Mills, 1997 as cited in Leonardo, 2002). Whiteness is transformed into the common sense that becomes law (Leonardo, 2002), yet effective critical pedagogic dialogue requires that they “subject recognize himself in the object” (Freire, 1970). It is, thus, imperative that Whites recognize the elements of embedded oppression that come as a result of this contract. Education simply cannot be neutral. When education pretends to be politically neutral like many churches in Nazi Germany, it supports the dominant existing power structure (Kincheloe, 2004)
The Souls of White Folk: Critical Pedagogy, whiteness studies, and globalization discourse. (Leonardo, 2002) By suggesting arguments such as ‘if you do not like it here go home’, or ‘if I come to your country I would have to learn your language’ assume: That students who voice opposition to white racism do no belong in the nation they seek to improve A frame of racism that identifies the problem as being “dissatisfied with [ones] lot in life rather than a concern for the humanity of all people” White ownership of racialized territories That there is a place on earth that has not been touched by ‘whiteness’ Ignorance to the global privilege of English as the international language of business White students do not disinvest in whiteness by claiming ‘I’m not white,’ since this is how whiteness currently operates (Leonardo, 2002)
The Souls of White Folk: Critical Pedagogy, whiteness studies, and globalization discourse. (Leonardo, 2002) 4. Admitting the reality of white racism would force a river of centuries of pain, denial, and guilt that many people cannot assuage (Leonardo, 2002) The key to Critical Pedagogy is dialogue. Whites need to find a way to dialogue, not just say, however, discuss and dialogue, “to say the true word- which is work, which is Praxis- is to transform the world, say that word is not the privilege of some men by the right of every many” (Freire, 1970) and thus whites must dialogue and discuss, listen and share with their colleagues. This will not be an easy process “made to recognise their unearned privileges and confronted in public they react with tears of admission” (Leonardo, 2002). “Discussing (anti) racism is never easy and is frequently suppressed in mainstream classroom conditions”(Leonardo, 2002). “How can I dialogue if I consider myself a member of the in- group of ‘pure’ men?” (Freire, 1970)
The Souls of White Folk: Critical Pedagogy, whiteness studies, and globalization discourse. (Leonardo, 2002) This cannot remain, however, and white educators should remember that “at the point of encounter there are neither utter ignoramuses nor perfect sages; there are only men who are attempting, together, to learn more than they know” (Freire, 1970). This must go further though “to say one thing and do another- to take one’s own word lightly-cannot inspire trust” (Freire, 1970) and yet “white comfort zones are notorious for tolerating only small, incremental dozes of racial confrontation” (Hunter and Nettles, 1999 as cited in Leonardo, 2002). A pedagogy of politeness only goes so far before it degrades into the paradox of liberal feel good solidarity absent of dissent, without which any worthwhile pedagogy becomes a democracy of empty forms (Leonardo, 2002). Freire speaks a great deal about a dialogue of love - that “the naming of the world, which is an act of creation and re-creation, is not possible if it is not infused with love. Love is at the same time the foundation of dialogue and dialogue itself” (Freire, 1970). This removal of a pedagogy of Politeness and entrance into hard conversations between white and non-white educators (I might argue this applies to all forms of oppression), is what we might call necessary ‘tough love’ All of this dialogue that is required amongst educators, students, and between educators, supports the idea that we absolutely cannot accept a banking method of education We will only move forward if we dialogue with and amongst each other openly and honestly. Critical teachers, therefore, must admit they are in a position of authority and then demonstrate that authority in their actions in support of students (Kincheloe, 2004) They must be “learners- not functionaries” (Kincheloe, 2004)
The Souls of White Folk: Critical Pedagogy, whiteness studies, and globalization discourse. (Leonardo, 2002) 5. Whiteness has appropriated non-whites as necessary. In order to maintain its racial hegemony, whiteness has always had to maintain some sense of flexibility. That is, like capital, white domination must work with scope not scales, of influence, especially in times of crisis. It must accommodate subjects previously marked as Other. In Ireland, British rule outlawed the practice of catholic holidays and the Irish language. Irish people eventually became white whereas blacks and Indians remain non- white. What it previously marked as subhuman, it later accepts as brethren. Irish ascendancy also shows the wicked flexibility of whiteness to offer broader membership for newcomers in exchange for allegiance to the white nation state (Leonardo, 2002). Asian-American student is commonly touted as the ‘model minority’, or ‘intelligent minority’ this favourable image is a commentary on the perception of African-American and Latino students as less than Ideal students (Leonardo, 2002). The Asian-American case is instructive because it exposes the social construction of whiteness (Leonardo, 2002). Whiteness mutates according to historical conditions (Leonardo, 2002).
The Souls of White Folk: Critical Pedagogy, whiteness studies, and globalization discourse. (Leonardo, 2002)Conclusions White, male, class elitist, heterosexist, imperial and colonial privilege has spread through Economic and Capitalist mentalities to be a ubiquitous and subversive way of life around the globe. This is so much a part of our life that “like a fish does not perceive the water it lives in” we do not notice it. In particular many whites are not even aware of the privilege they hold. Critical pedagogy teaches us to seek out theses sources of hidden oppression and dialogue to bring them into the open and thus actively oppose them. Whiteness, white culture, and white are all different conceptions and not always linked. It is whiteness that we need to fight against, as whiteness is the enemy and is a mental choice rather than something we are born into. We need to identify both the historical significance and the present presentation of these oppressions, name them for what they are, and dialogue against them. Critical pedagogy teaches us that those ideas, procedures, and ways of life that seem most neutral are likely the most subversively oppressive. In taking action against oppression, whites need to identify their privilege and “commit race treason”. This should be made as difficult as it needs to be to openly and honestly do so, but no harder. Dialogue will often bring both whites and non-whites to a mutual understanding if they both approach the discussion with a learning stance. In the past whiteness , like capitalism, has had no choice but to be flexible and incorporate minor variations, in order to maintain hegemony. We need to be careful that this false acceptance is identified and opposed.
Revolutionary Pedagogy in Post-Revolutionary Times: Rethinking thePolitical Economy of Critical Educationby Peter McLaren Key themes: Marxist and neo-Marxist perspective of critical education Economic inequity in global capitalism and its importance in local relations, systems, and everyday practices Role of power and privilege in maintaining oppressive labour relations between the “First World” and the “Third World” and within the “First World” Need to revive the socialist agenda in critical pedagogy to counter hegemonic control of capitalist ideologies from a framework that also takes into accounting intersecting experiences of racism, sexism, and homophobia
Revolutionary Pedagogy in Post-Revolutionary Times: Rethinking the Political Economy of Critical Education (McLaren, 1998) Revolutionary Pedagogy: Context of Economic Oppression There is widespread local and global economic inequity that is based on redistribution of wealth so that the rich become richer and the poor become poorer Capitalism is not just about class; it mediates all aspects of social life, subjecting it to “the abstract requirements of the market” (p. 451) Economic marginalization, while mediated by class, is also deeply connected to exclusion of people based on racism, sexism, and homophobia Hence, the idea of a “free” market is not neutral and devoid of power imbalances and oppressive tendencies that are built into the very structures of capitalism Global capital movement to the South is imperialistic in nature based on exploitative relations from a Marxist and neo-Marxist perspective
Revolutionary Pedagogy in Post-Revolutionary Times: Rethinking the Political Economy of Critical Education (McLaren, 1998) Revolutionary Pedagogy: The Myth of Democracy Critical pedagogy is not living up to its transformative potential; it has been “domesticated” and stripped of it “revolutionary agenda,” (p. 442) as it is largely silent on social and political critique of global capitalism The rhetoric of multiculturalism has also been “co-opted” to conform to the needs of capitalism that focuses on diversity and differences in depoliticized ways, only to prepare students for a workforce that is competent in intercultural skills for the very purpose of advancing capitalism (p. 439) The new forms of control are less obvious and are operationalized via hegemonic domination where power is not with teachers, but with the institution and the capitalist relations and ideologies it is embedded in, hence the myth of democracy McLaren talks about the “commercialization of higher education” (p. 435) where knowledge becomes a form of production (p. 438); its ties to capitalism to produce particular kinds of ideologies about what kind of knowledge should be produced, ideas of citizenship, purpose of education – that reinforce capitalist goals.
Revolutionary Pedagogy in Post-Revolutionary Times: Rethinking the Political Economy of Critical Education (McLaren, 1998) Revolutionary Pedagogy: The Myth of Democracy Kincheloe (2004) speaks to the “contradictions in the contemporary pedagogical landscape” where , while schools claim to strive for democracy, they in fact perpetuate hegemonic control and a competitive ethics; they are “authoritarian and pursue antidemocratic goals of social control for particular groups and individuals” (p. 1) Consequently, “the globalization of capitalism and its political bedfellow, neoliberalism, work together to democratize suffering, obliterate hope, and assassinate justice” (p. 434)
Revolutionary Pedagogy in Post-Revolutionary Times: Rethinking the Political Economy of Critical Education (McLaren, 1998) Revolutionary Pedagogy: Reconfiguring Critical Pedagogy Critical pedagogy is an important form of resistance against capitalism because it is “a way of thinking about, negotiating, and transforming the relationship among classroom teaching, the production of knowledge, the institutional structures of the school, and the social and material relations of the wider community, society, and nation-state” (p. 441) Critical pedagogy should aim to transform global economic relations rather than work within the existing capitalist structures, as “anti-capitalist struggle is the best means to rearticulate identities within the construction of a radical socialist project” (McLaren, 1998, p. 451) For critical pedagogy to be revolutionary, it should be “less in-formative and more per-formative” (p. 452), centring lived experiences of those marginalized, “walking the talk” of justice and anti-capitalism A critical pedagogy for multicultural education should build capacity of students in cultural and social analysis and critique of capitalism. They should be facilitated in practicing it in their everyday life in a way that will challenge capitalism
Revolutionary Pedagogy in Post-Revolutionary Times: Rethinking the Political Economy of Critical Education (McLaren, 1998) Challenges & Possibilities: Revolutionary Pedagogy 1. Critical pedagogy should not claim universality or speak to needs of all humans. It should be situated in its own historical context as not to re- enforce the normative view that centres a white, heterosexual, Western male of working class. 2. While situated in its locality, critical pedagogy should also make connections with the global systems of control that are perpetuated through capitalism. 3. Critical pedagogy should be reflexive of history and conscious of not “falling prey to a biological foundationalism or the falsely generalizing and ethnocentric tendencies of modern, Western grand theories that privilege certain historical or philosophical endpoints to the human condition,” as it “impl[ies] the redundancy of any discourse projected into the future that attempts to hold humanity accountable for its present condition” (p. 454). Stanley Aronowitz warns against such a “right-wing pronunciamentos of ‘endings’” – “the notion that history, ideology, and political evolution have ended because liberal democratic capitalist states have produced a social order that can never be improved” (cited in Kincheloe, 2004, p. 61).
Revolutionary Pedagogy in Post-Revolutionary Times: Rethinking the Political Economy of Critical Education (McLaren, 1998) Challenges & Possibilities: Revolutionary Pedagogy 4. Critical pedagogy should de-centre notions of knowledge, intelligence, and “reason” that privilege capitalist class; they should challenge neoliberal “systems of intelligibility” in educational institutions and their relationship with the dominant culture within which they are situated. Critical pedagogy must centre oppressed voices – it should be aware of power dynamics and social location in the production of knowledge. Freire (cited in Kincheloe, 2004) proposes that critical pedagogy embody “radical love” that will strengthen our ability to bring love in our practice and in our systems, “and to rethink reason in a humane and interconnected manner” that will allow us to appease human suffering (p. 3). 5. Educators of critical pedagogy should contextualize shift in “modes of production” in global capitalism and recognize how capitalism is not something “out there”; rather, it is embedded in our everyday practices, subjectivities, and relations (p. 457). In education, connections to sweatshops and systems of exploitation should be made (p. 457). 6. Critical pedagogy should speak to interlocking systems of oppression by also challenging racism, sexism, and homophobia. Willis (1977) offers insight into the contradiction between domination and resistance when only one aspect of domination is focused on. Willis (1977) advocates challenging all systems of domination in radical pedagogy for it to be transformative and revolutionary.
Revolutionary Pedagogy in Post-Revolutionary Times: Rethinking the Political Economy of Critical Education (McLaren, 1998) Challenges & Possibilities: Revolutionary Pedagogy 7. Critical pedagogy should reinvigorate its historical socialist vision and work towards a basic standard minimum of human needs and human rights. Michael Apple (in Interchange, 1981) reminds us that our task as educators is also historical: it is to “place education again on a socialist agenda”. 8. Critical pedagogy must challenge power at multiple fronts because it “involves a politics of economic and resource distribution, as well as a politics of recognition, affirmation, and difference” (p. 458). Similarly, Henry Giroux argues that power is more than just distribution of political and economic forces – it is “a concrete set of practices that produces social mechanisms through which distinct experiences and personal identities are shaped” (Kincheloe, 2004, p. 62). Likewise, Kincheloe (2004) echoes this concern with power and politicizing education since “every dimension of schooling and every form of educational practice are politically contested spaces” (p. 2) influenced by the “surrounding institutional morality” (Goodland, 1994 cited in Kincheloe, 2004, p. 2). 9. Reconfiguring critical pedagogy to its revolutionary potential and its vision of socialist democracy entails focusing on “communicative democracy,” that is moving towards a collective interest, group representation, and giving voice to formerly silenced oppressed groups.
Revolutionary Pedagogy in Post-Revolutionary Times: Rethinking the Political Economy of Critical Education (McLaren, 1998) Challenges & Possibilities: Revolutionary Pedagogy 10. Lastly, critical pedagogy must centre lived experience and “standpoint epistemology [from below] of the oppressed” and calls them to continually educate themselves. For Paulo Freire, this is premised on the idea of creating knowledge relationally or “co- investigating” with “people (who would normally be considered objects of that investigation)” (Freire, 1970, p. 131). This is important in addressing the “theme of silence” around marginal viewpoints and bring to surface themes and issues that impact the reality of those oppressed by capitalism.
Revolutionary Pedagogy in Post-Revolutionary Times: Rethinking the Political Economy of Critical Education (McLaren, 1998) Conclusion: Revolutionary Pedagogy Struggle for revolutionary education is linked to larger social and political struggle against global and local capitalism. Schools must become “sites for the production of both critical knowledge and sociopolitical action” (p. 460). According to Giroux (in Interchange, 1981), what is needed is to question how hegemonic ideologies are facilitated via schooling and ask “what constitutes appropriate knowledge for working class students?” Education should build capacity of students to engage in activism and “critical citizenship” so that they have social justice literacy and the language to challenge global capitalism, labour relations, and how they themselves are implicated in capitalist systems. Thus, “the important challenge ahead is to educate a citizenry capable of overcoming the systemic exploitation of so many of the world’s populations” (p. 460). In conclusion, “if educators are to follow the example of a Marxist-inspired critical pedagogy, there must be a concerted effort to construct a social order that is not premised upon capital” (p. 461). This is not without contradictions because schools also have contradictory ideologies that should be addressed: “…as a state apparatus, schools perform important roles in assisting in the creation of conditions necessary for capital accumulation (they sort, select, and certify a hierarchically organized student body) and for legitimation (they maintain an inaccurate meritocratic ideology and, therefore legitimate the ideological forms necessary for the recreation of inequality)” (Apple in Interchange, 1981). The contradiction lies in these two functions of schools and it is important to address them because, as discussed in the article, legitimation for capital accumulation is not neutral and is influenced by neo-imperialism values that privilege certain groups over others along lines of class, as well as race, gender, and sexual orientation.
Rereading Paulo Freireby Kathleen Weiler Critical Thoughts What is Feminist Pedagogy? Feminist Pedagogy How Feminist Pedagogy and Freirean Pedagogy are Alike How does Weiler Interpret Freire from a Feminist Perspective? Problematic Concepts of Freire’s Theory Freire’s Assumption about Oppression and Liberation as part of the Male Public World Freire and Oppression Feminist Educators and bell hooks
Rereading Paulo Freire (Weiler, 2001) Critical Thoughts Weiler interprets what Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy means in terms of her view of feminism and how it fits into the Freirean world Freirean world (from Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire, 1970): Freire was devoted to working to improve marginalized people Developed curricular and instructional strategies that produced better learning climates and a better society Freirean liberation is a social dynamic that involves working with and engaging other people in a power conscious process (Freire, 1970, p.71) Liberation and critical hope cannot be attained until individuals move to a critical consciousness Oppressed learn to understand the social, political, economic and cultural contradictions that undermine learning Learning and being are inseparable Literacy empowers students to change themselves and to take action in the world for justice, liberty, and equality
Rereading Paulo Freire (Weiler, 2001) What is Feminist Pedagogy? Feminist interventions in education have been determined by historical, economic, and political contexts in which women have lived Feminist pedagogy is political in nature Women in all cultures have developed resistances and identities in response to historical and social circumstances - progressive critique and social advancements for women Social and political goals of U.S. feminism were originally framed around liberal, Enlightenment conceptions of rights and justice for women Subsequently feminists have condemned patriarchal desires and practices using the Western discourses of psychoanalysis and poststructuralism
Rereading Paulo Freire (Weiler, 2001) Feminists have challenged structure of traditional canon Interventions and issues raised by feminist teachers and theorists around nature of women as learners; the gendered nature of accepted knowledge in the academy; the role and authority of the teacher; and the epistemological question of the source of knowledge and truth claims of men and women Feminist pedagogy emerged from developmental psychology on the differences between men and women in moral and cognitive development Differences are socially and discursively constructed - failure to explore and analyze the social and historical construction of these ideas of women’s natures History of Western patriarchy, rationality the province of men and feeling and nurturance of women- historically sedimented identities Use of mass media to construct theories of womanly stages of development, ways of knowing, violence, and sexism Myths and stereotypes of how women are viewed in society
Rereading Paulo Freire (Weiler, 2001) Feminist poststructuralist educational theory has challenged the idea of a unitary identity “woman” and the idea that feminist pedagogy will lead to the discovery of a collective unity of experience for women or men It has critiqued the ideas of control, abstract rationality and universal truth implied in the project of modernism and in critical, democratic and Freirean pedagogies It has criticized male education theorists who fail to take gender into account, to acknowledge their own male privilege or their claims of mastery (p. 5). The identity “woman” has been challenged by women of colour, lesbians, women from working class background It obscures the meaning of race in a racist society, class, power or oppression, age or other kinds of differences or deviations from a mythical norm Feminist pedagogy analyses patriarchy and attempts to develop an education appropriate for women
Rereading Paulo Freire (Weiler, 2001) How Feminist Pedagogy and Freirean Pedagogy are Alike They both emphasize the importance of consciousness raising, the existence of an oppressive social structure and the need to change it, and the possibility of social transformation They both hold the belief in the ability of human beings to come to a knowledge and understanding of themselves and the world and the assumption that both the content of the curriculum and methods of pedagogy teach lessons to the marginalized They see the fundamental need to challenge dominant assumptions of knowing and knowledge and to value all students
Rereading Paulo Freire (Weiler, 2001) How does Weiler Interpret Freire from a Feminist Perspective? Weiler is from a white, middle class, non-oppressed background and has been challenged in critiquing Freire, a Brazilian man who spoke for the subjugated and oppressed She discusses how her own social and historical location of privilege shape her critique of Freire Weiler acknowledges Freire’s commitment to social justice and condemnation of exploitation and dehumanization Freire has been an inspiration to progressive education in seeking ways to use education to build more just societies in settings throughout the world
Rereading Paulo Freire (Weiler, 2001) Problematic Concepts of Freire’s Theory Weiler believes that feminist educators need to consider the issues that Freire ignores or distorts Freire’s work is so decontextualized and his claims are sweeping; readers identify themselves as either the oppressed or the liberatory teacher Freire describes transparent, liberatory teacher without consideration of location and identity, public and private worlds Weiler recounts Freire’s failure to include the experiences of women or to analyze or even acknowledge the patriarchal grounding of Western thought She criticizes his view of history as a struggle between good and evil and his recognition of himself as a force of goodness and salvation Weiler questions the masculine nature of his work Weiler discusses his resistance to addressing questions of sexism or patriarchy
Rereading Paulo Freire (Weiler, 2001) Freire’s Assumption about Oppression and Liberation as part of the Male Public World Freire considers oppressed as a “general category” without acknowledging the complexities and differences among real people. Freire has been criticized (his early work) for his assumption that “the oppressed” were male peasants or workers in the public sphere, as well as for his use of the male pronoun to refer to all people (p.12) Freire held assumptions of patriarchal privilege: “If the oppressed women choose to fight exclusively against the oppressed men when they are both in the category of oppressed, they may rupture the oppressor-oppressed relations specific to both women and men. If this is done, the struggle will only be partial and perhaps tactically incorrect (p. 16) He writes about the need for oppressed to attain literacy, overlooking the fact that in many communities women are more literate than men - male definition of literacy is validated in workplace, cultural and social patriarchy Devalued women’s literacy because it belongs to the home, to the care of the children and maintenance of private life Reproduction linked to project of economic reconstruction, ignores issue of women’s work Talks about the need to fight against sexist discrimination, but implies that antisexist and antiracist movements are not as serious as class movements Discusses importance of women’s movement for progressive change, but fundamental framing of oppression remains in class and occasionally racial terms
Rereading Paulo Freire (Weiler, 2001) Freire and Oppression Freire includes gender within class - liberation should take place for both men and women and not just for men or for women or along colour or ethnic lines Freire felt that women’s main concern should be to understand the different levels of male oppression rather than examine and understand the levels of women’s oppression The most important focus for women should be to understand men and to help men confront their own sexism (p. 16) Fails to recognize ways that class, sex, and race are intertwined Together, men and women need to cut the chains of oppression “What is the strategy of the struggle of the oppressed? It is the Utopia of liberty that severs the chains of oppression. This should be the dream of the struggle for liberation that never reaches a plenitude” (p. 17).
Rereading Paulo Freire (Weiler, 2001) Feminist Educators and bell hooks Many feminist educators have embraced Freire’s visionary humanity, his emphasis on seeing human beings as subjects and not objects of history Women have identified themselves as the oppressed and have read Freire’s demands for justice and human rights as women’s demands bell hooks identified with Freire Provoked deep thought about the construction of an identity in resistance and led to her seeing herself as a subject of resistance; feminism must be more than a call for equal rights for women; must be able to eradicate the ideology of domination that expresses itself along the axes of race, class, sexuality, colonialism, and gender Feminism and Freirean thought are interwoven bell hooks contends that Freire was more concerned with the plight and needs of the disenfranchised than were many of the white bourgeois feminists One’s actions in pursuit of resistance to oppression are more important than one’s race, class, or gender - one’s positionality. Teachers need to develop a global perspective that allows one to see self as others see it (Kincheloe, 2004, p.83).
Rereading Paulo Freire (Weiler, 2001)Conclusions How does perspective change our knowledge of critical pedagogies - Freire’s location and history as compared to Weiler’s? How do we acknowledge differences and hear the voices of all students in an unequal society? We need to discuss the conflicts that emerge from oppression, the control of political projects and ambiguities of history Feminist educators struggle to create pedagogical spaces in which women can learn - stubborn structures of patriarchal and racial privilege continue to define academic institutions The power of the androcentric Western philosophical and political traditions characterizes the texts that we and our students read, as well as our consciousness Attempts at more liberatory pedagogies have been uneven and raise questions around pedagogy and identity Female educator tries to create the conditions for a female speaking subject as part of a larger political and social project against patriarchy, as well as against racism and class exploitation (p. 18) Who are we speaking for when we speak and what sort of knowledge are we seeking?
Rereading Paulo Freire (Weiler, 2001) Critical pedagogy wants to connect education with passion, to embolden teachers and students to act in ways that make a difference, and to push humans to new levels of social and cognitive achievement previously deemed impossible (Kincheloe, 2004, p. 2) Weiler wants to recreate that passion in feminist pedagogy Education is always political as it supports the needs of the democratic culture while subverting the interests of marginalized cultures (p. 14). Weiler describes feminism and feminist pedagogy as political projects. Freire talks about women living in “the third world in the first world” (p. 7). Kincheloe, Freire and Weiler believed in the ever evolving critical pedagogy over time - critical enlightenment, emancipation, ideology, discursive power and how power dominates and shapes our consciousness They all “retained a vision of the not yet” (Leila Villaverde in Kincheloe, 2004), and the desire to build new forms of relationships with diverse people Discursive power cannot exist without critical thinking. Thinking which perceives reality as process and does not separate itself from action. As Freire states, authentic education is not carried on by “A” for “B” or by “A” about “B”, but rather by “A” with “B”, mediated by the world - a world which challenges both parties, giving rise to views or opinions about it (Freire, 1970). Freire’s humanity and responsibility for students as “knowers of the world” resonates with feminist educators seeking to develop an education and pedagogy for womenWeiler, Kathleen. (2001) Rereading Paulo Friere. In Weiler, Kathleen. (Ed.), Feminist engagements: Reading, resisting and revisioning male theorists in education and cultural studies.
Theme Issue: Rethinking SocialReproduction. Interchange, (1981) Paul Olson: Rethinking Social Reproduction Henry Giroux: Hegemony, Resistance, and the Paradox of Educational Reform Michael Apple: Reproduction, Contestation, and Curriculum: An Essay in Self-Criticism Paul Willis: Cultural Production is Different from Cultural Reproduction is Different from Social Reproduction is Different from Reproduction
Theme Issue: Olson, P. – Rethinking Social Reproduction (1981) Theme Issue – Rethinking Social Reproduction Olson, P. (1981) Social inequality Schools play role in inequality Both the required and supplementary articles this week examine some form(s) of inequality and suffering As educators and/or individuals who have experienced the school system, are we aware of the inequality that exists, especially in terms of power and dominance? What is our role on this created spectrum of power? How can we act to promote equality or give and receive hope as explained by Freire (1970)? Is this possible or do factors exist that prevent us from doing so? Transformations of consciousness and society can be viewed with problems associated with interaction, communication, and sequenced cumulated learning Katz (historian) examines origin of American system 1880s: “system was already ‘universal, tax supported, free, compulsory, bureaucratic, racist, and class biased.’” Today, more issues are evident in the system (sexism, intolerance, etc.) When examining social, political, and historical contexts, as presented in this week’s readings, it seems that issues continue to manifest themselves in one form or another across generations. That said, is it realistic to take action that brings about transformative change (as Ellsworth (1989) attempted to do together with students against institutional racism)? How is change measured? Can a vision of hope (Freire, 1970) be attained and sustained within societies in which human suffering and oppression seem to be cyclical in nature? Throughout 1960s and 1970s, relationship of the variables within social structure and outcomes of schooling examined
Theme Issue: Olson, P. – Rethinking Social Reproduction (1981) Reanalysis of key works, in order to provide “evidence that social structure and family background were more powerful determinants of cognitive outcomes than even the best schooling” Apple explains hidden curriculum in both educational practice and content Related to social roles, values, and norms of students Jackson and Sharp and Green explore hierarchy and competition of the whole group through demographics and physical space of classroom These positions countered the, then, view that schools worked for all Showed that schools were not functioning optimally to address the varying needs of students, especially minorities and the poor Today, within the education field in Ontario, there is movement toward an education system that addresses the needs of all students There is a shift toward fairness Fairness is not about sameness or being equal, but about taking action based on individualistic needs That said, are there politicized, hidden agendas (as examined in this week’s readings) that exist even in these positive movements?
Theme Issue: Olson, P. – Rethinking Social Reproduction (1981) Essential to be aware of the power of social and economic determinants within society School as a “passive servant to the active determinant masters of social background and structure” Relates to positions of power, who has power, how groups/individuals can move about (Ellsworth, 1989) from privilege to oppressor and can have varying positions of power (from powerful to powerless) If schools were deemed “passive servant[s] to the active determinant masters of social background and structure”, might they feel empowered by being the masters of students, enforcing hidden agendas and engraining sociopolitical ideologies and/or moulding students into pre-set, prescribed ideals? Correspondence theory Social inequality created and reproduced within schools Schools have contexts within general social structure that can both contradict and reproduce structural order Factors, such as economics, culture, history, movements, context, etc., shape schooling outcomes Structural variables and effects intertwined with lived experience needed Willis – Learning to Labour Lived experiences and social reproduction possess complexities Social constructivist logics – in order to work toward equality in schools it is necessary to partake in “active analysis of concrete situation and theory”, while incorporating strategies The authors within the Theme Issue – Rethinking Social Reproduction (Giroux, Apple, Willis, Dale, and West) all: look for ways to address such problems provide theory that calls upon critique of which types of theories/methodologies/strategies would be best to address issues
Theme Issue: Henry Giroux- Hegemony, Resistance, and the Paradox of Educational Reform (1981) Theme Issue – Hegemony, Resistance, and the Paradox of Educational Reform Giroux, H. (1981) Giroux examines hegemony, resistance, and the paradox of educational reform How studies have revealed economic and political character of education, class domination and inequality occur in day-to-day classroom experiences Relates to schools and social inequality, as well as Apple’s (1981) discussion on “hidden curriculum” Theoretical and practical importance of counter- hegemonic struggles both within and outside the sphere of schooling
Theme Issue: Henry Giroux- Hegemony, Resistance, and the Paradox of Educational Reform (1981) Three major positions emerged to analyze the relationship between schooling and the capitalist societies of the advanced industrial countries of the west: o Social reproduction - process of schooling and economic life in capitalist society o Cultural reproduction - how capitalist societies are able to repeat and reproduce themselves o Theories of social and cultural reproduction - both positions view class domination as the central element underlying the mechanisms of social and cultural reproduction• Concepts of ideology, hegemony, and cultures as reconstructions for examining relationship between general society and school as starting points for radical pedagogy• Radical pedagogy - the concepts and tools used in pursuit of social and self- analysis by students be rooted in the cultural capital that constitutes and mediates their relationships to world• Need to learn how knowledge is produced and reconstructed • How to theorize, how to judge knowledge from a class and political perspective• Learn the kind of knowledge that promotes social analysis and points to transformative social action (Freire, 1970)• At core of any radical pedagogy there must be the aim of empowering people to work for a change in the social, political, and economic structure that constitutes the ultimate source of class based power and domination (Giroux, 1981, p. 24)
Theme Issue: Michael Apple- Reproduction, Contestation, and Curriculum (1981) Theme Issue: Reproduction, Contestation, and Curriculum Apple, M. (1981) In re-examining his own conception of critical pedagogy, in particular as it pertains to the school reproducing, (he argues that it also produces quite a bit) many elements of critical pedagogy are re- illuminated Just as critical pedagogy focuses on the continual shaping of knowledge by our interactions with culture and society at large, Apple quotes Castells (1980 as cited in Apple, 1981) “ the economy is not a ‘mechanism’ but a social process continuously shaped and recast by the changing relationship of human kind to the productive forces”. This is reminiscent of Leonardo (2002) conception of globalization and economic forces spreading oppressive culture. Apple focuses on the contradictions that often occur whereby a workplace, culture, or school begins to produce rather than just re- produce the ideologies of white hegemony
Theme Issue: Michael Apple- Reproduction, Contestation, and Curriculum (1981) Apple also deconstructs two views Schools have more or less impact than much of the literature suggests. He sees both sides stating “the realization that understanding and acting on schools is not enough and also knowing that ignoring them is simply wrong” (Apple, 1981) Apple recognizes that attempts to “ develop a supposedly neutral method” of education and curriculum “often functioned to help legitimate and reproduce the structural bases of inequity” (Apple, 1981) Apple argues that beyond a banking view of education, students are not just “passive internalizers of pre-given messages.” No matter how we deliver the curriculum (with all of the hidden messages included) "student reinterpretation, at best only partial acceptance, and often outright rejection of the planned and unplanned messages of schools [is] more likely” (Apple, 1981). He argues that many of the forms of rebellion that students use only serve to prepare them for the ideology of the workforce that they will enter, a white, male, class –based world and thus on some level the school is also producing the ideology that students appear to be rebelling against. Furthermore, although schools have “relative autonomy” they also serve to recreate the conditions necessary for ideological hegemony to be maintained. Indeed this is how the ideology spreads and takes hold as a hegemony through hidden and “naturalized” methods
Theme Issue: Michael Apple- Reproduction, Contestation, and Curriculum (1981) Thus when contradistinctions, such as the student example above occur, they often serve to produce rather than re-produce the ideology they are apparently attempting to contest. “By rejecting school knowledge, the students are in essence rejecting mental labor. They thus harden the distinction between mental and manual labor” (Apple, 1981). They are caught in a contradiction that produces the “articulation of the social relations of capitalist production” (Apple ,1981) Apple speaks of culture in a dual form- culture that is created through interaction and culture that is transmitted as “cultural capital”. This cultural capital is what we need to fight against and is strikingly similar to Leonardo’s (2002) distinction between white culture and “whiteness” Apple refers to this cultural capital as “the ability of certain groups in society to transform culture into a commodity, to accumulate it, to make of it what Bourdieu has called “cultural capital” Apple looks at the processes that schools create, not just the knowledge they impart, and identifies that these ways of being transmit the ideology that many educators are attempting to fight against. The distinctions of mental and physical labour, for example, feed into our class system. These are the ideological configurations of the dominant interests in a society” and Apple questions “how do schools legitimate these limited and partial standards of knowing as unquestioned truths “(Apple, 1979 as cited in Apple, 1981)
Theme Issue: Michael Apple- Reproduction, Contestation, and Curriculum (1981) The “black box” mentality of schools that Apple (1981) sought to learn more about echoes the theme in cultural pedagogy of implicit learning and the hidden curriculum that we must actively seek to bring to the forefront and dialogue about to fight against. “Rather than being places where culture and ideologies are imposed on students, schools are the sites where these things are produced”. Apple (1981) also identifies the school as a workplace like any other labour space where ideologies play out, are produced and re-produced amongst the staff. In particular, themes of management, removed control, and the carrying out of others ideas. Apple (1981) suggests that we begin to dialogue outside of the school with other “labor groups” and actively oppose these ideologies as a united front. The notion of hegemony is not free floating, it is, in fact, tied to the state in the first place-that is, hegemony isn’t am already accomplished social fact but a process in which dominant groups and classes “manage” to win the active consensus of those over whom they rule” (Mouffe, 1979, as cited in Apple, 1981)
Theme Issue: Michael Apple- Reproduction, Contestation, and Curriculum (1981) Teachers have been placed into a common management form of control Apple terms as technical control. Through tools such as standardized programs, which involve diagnostic testing and subsequent, test- determined, programs, the teacher is effectively deskilled and becomes more of a manager than a free thinking individual. Finally, Apple argues that we need to understand the “lived culture of students” and to win people over to create a broader movement that can work against these factors. This echoes the thoughts of many other critical pedagogy thinkers. Through open dialogue we can seek to understand the situations of others. The focus should not remain on possibilities, but on actualities. Possibilities are nothing until they are acted upon (Apple, 1981). This is remarkably similar to Freire’s (1970) focus on both dialogue and action or praxis.
Theme Issue: Paul Willis- Cultural Production is Different from Cultural Reproduction is Different fromSocial Reproduction is Different From Reproduction (1981) Theme Issue: Cultural Production is Different from Cultural Reproduction is Different from Social Reproduction is Different from Reproduction Willis, P. (1981) This article presents nuanced understandings of Social Reproduction, Cultural Production and Reproduction and its implication for different strategies that come about from these distinctions. Social reproduction refers to the relationship between the classes that are reproduced generationally and important to sustain capitalist structures and modes of production. Willis argues that this relationship between classes and its reproduction is one that is “dynamic and contested” and the starting point for its exploration should be its cultural context that is very much alive in our everyday practices, history, consciousness (p. 49). Focusing on Cultural Production as a starting point opens up possibility for change in the root of the problem by addressing the very contents that are “disabling” (p. 65). He is a proponent of taking advantage of the contradictions within dominant Cultural Production and Reproduction to “increase the mismatch between education and industry and to give greater value to labour than capital can realize” (p. 63)
Theme Issue: Paul Willis- Cultural Production is Different from Cultural Reproduction is Different fromSocial Reproduction is Different From Reproduction (1981) Similarly, Apple (1981) complicates the idea of hegemony in education by pointing out the conflicts and contradictions within the state itself and suggests leveraging on this state of conflict and contradictions to have interests of “contending groups” reflected in dominant structures: “…To maintain its own legitimacy, the state needs to gradually but continuously integrate many of the interests of allied and even opposing groups under its banner (Mouffe, 1979, p. 182). This integration involves a continual process of compromise, conflict, and active struggle to maintain hegemony. The results, therefore, are not a simple reflection of the interests of an economy or of dominant classes. Even reforms proposed to alter both the way schools are organized and controlled and what is actually taught in them will be part of this process. They too will be part of an ideological discourse that reflects the conflicts within the state and of attempts by the state apparatus to maintain both its own legitimacy and that of the surrounding process of accumulation” (Apple, in press, cited in Apple, 1981, p. 39) Gitlin (1979) warns against “over-using concepts such as hegemony in explaining cultural and economic reproduction” by arguing that “[We need to] bring the discussion of cultural hegemony down to earth. […]” since its indiscriminate use is “useful neither as an explanation nor as a guide to action” (cited in Apple, 1981, p. 45)
Theme Issue: Paul Willis- Cultural Production is Different from Cultural Reproduction is Different fromSocial Reproduction is Different From Reproduction (1981) Schools play a key role in facilitating dominant cultural and social reproduction and in maintaining status quo that breeds inequities (a “minimum” cultural capital is required to succeed in the education system (p. 53). With culture comes certain rules and norms that makes themselves “official” that are usually dictated by the dominating class. Therefore, a higher cultural capital is required for educational success. Since the class categories stay fairly stable while similar class relationships are reproduced and inhabited in different subjectivities, those in dominant class tend to acquire higher cultural capital and hence, mover higher in the educational ladder. Hence, the system appears to be “legitimate and objective” as the rules seem to apply equally and fairly to everyone. It is assumed that working class students do not succeed not because they are working class, but because they do not have the “objective” cultural capital (p. 54). This way, symbolic capital becomes real capital and vice-versa. This, in turn, causes “symbolic violence” that makes invisible systems of power and oppression (p. 54). Cultural reproduction and implications for education: “Where production relations show the social exclusion, inequality, and heritability of real capital, education guarantees the apparent equivalence, independence, and free-born equality of symbolic capital. Education mystifies itself, as well as others, in concealing its own basis in, and its reproduction of, the power relationships in society” (p. 54).
Theme Issue: Paul Willis- Cultural Production is Different from Cultural Reproduction is Different fromSocial Reproduction is Different From Reproduction (1981) Willis (1981) argues that while Bourdieun understanding of dominant social and cultural reproduction is valuable, it is limited; we should also be examining subordinate reproduction of social an cultural capital. It challenges the assumption that only the dominant has “culture” and the dominated is “powerless” and has no agency (55). He raises important questions: “But how do the "powerless" understand and accept their position? What is their role in Reproduction?” By framing the discourse on reproduction as such, he legitimizes forms of resistance and practices of counter-hegemony that is present in subordinate cultural and social reproduction. This opens up the possibility of nuanced “praxis,” of “deal[ing] with change and the possibility of liberation.” It also makes visible patterns of inequity that keep being inherited as they were taken as givens rather than negotiated and contested. As a result, as educators, are energies are shifted to ‘walking the talk’ of action rather than “detach[ing] from power just by wishing and hating” (p. 66).
References Ellsworth, Elizabeth. (1989). Why doesn’t this feel empowering? Working through the repressive myths of critical pedagogy. Harvard Educational Review, 59(3), 297-324. Friere, Paulo. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Ch 12 in Flinders, David & Thornton, Stephen. (Eds.) The curriculum studies reader, 2nd ed New York: Routledge. Kincheloe, Joe. (2004). Ch 1 Introduction (pp. 1-43). Critical pedagogy primer. New York: Peter Lang. Kincheloe, Joe. (2004). Ch 2 Foundations of critical pedagogy (pp. 45-96). Critical pedagogy primer. New York: Peter Lang. Leonardo, Zeus. (2002). The Souls of White Folk: Critical pedagogy, whiteness studies and globalization discourse. Race, ethnicity and education. 5(1), 29-50. Special Issue on Critical Pedagogy. Educational Theory, (1998), 48(4), 431-462. Theme Issue: Rethinking Social Reproduction. Interchange, (1981), 12(2-3). Weiler, Kathleen. (2001). Rereading Paulo Friere. In Weiler, Kathleen. (Ed.), Feminist engagements: Reading, resisting and revisioning male theorists in education and cultural studies.